Complete Guide to God of War 2018 – Beginners to Advanced

To check out the video version of this guide click here: VIDEO GUIDE

God of War really is something special, and with so many great features included in the game it can become confusing as to how to progress Kratos in the most efficient manner, especially on higher difficulties.

That’s why i have written this complete guide, which will explain everything you need to know to get the very best out of the game.

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There are just three weapons in the entire game of God of War, these are the Leviathan Axe, the Blades of Chaos, and Atreus’ Talon Bow, all of which can be upgraded multiple times.

Kratos also has a set of barehanded attacks and skills he uses in combination with his Guardian Shield which rapidly builds the Stun meter on certain enemies.

LEVIATHAN AXE AND PERMAFROST EXPLAINED

The Leviathan Axe has a combination of precise high impact close range and long range attacks, with many of its skills dealing frost damage and in certain cases instant freeze.

An important Skill to understand in relation to maximizing the effectiveness of your Leviathan Axe attacks is ‘Permafrost’ which is a tier 2 skill as shown here.

Once unlocked and purchased, Permafrost will build every time you hit an enemy with your axe and is represented by this gauge at the bottom left of the UI which slowly fills with each successful strike.

All the Permafrost gained will be lost and the gauge will empty If you are hit by an enemy without blocking or fail to strike an enemy for a few seconds.

The Axe must also stay in Kratos’ hand to keep building Permafrost, so this rules out, any aimed throws.

However the boomerang throws of the Evasive Storm Skill and the Switched Stance Whirlwind Skills will still build Permafrost as the Axe finishes in Kratos’ hand.

When the gauge fills to the top and solidifies in color, the Leviathan Axe will deal additional Frost damage with every hit, this is known as gaining Momentum.

Frost damage will build and fill an enemies Frost meter which slows their movements and attacks giving a degree of crowd control.

Enemies will not evade or block when in this state and will also increase Kratos’ Impact which means he can break through an enemy’s Resistance much easier to make it react.

Additionally, some attacks like the heavy axe throw and a few Runic Attacks, can completely freeze an enemy. In this state, it’s defenseless and can be easily shattered with one or two heavy blows.

Gaining momentum will also increase all regular damage dealt by a small percentage on top of the frost damage inflicted. Bear in mind Hel-Walkers wearing ice armor are immune to all Frost damage, but are susceptible to Burn damage.

To gain momentum much quicker and increase the amount of Permafrost gained with each successful strike, you will want to purchase the ‘Glacial Permafrost’ tier 3 skill as shown here.

The amount of Permafrost gained is also directly related to how much damage you do so bigger attacks will fill the gauge quicker.

You can also equip Enchantments which further increase Permafrost gained, as well as Immolation for the Blades of Chaos, by set percentages such as this Mark of the Element which increases the gain by 7% and can be stacked up to 21%.

As a side effect this Enchantment also increases the Runic Stat by 10 when equipped, which further increases Frost damage for the Axe, or Burn damage for the Blades of Chaos, since a higher Runic stat also means higher damage from all Elemental attacks.

This Perfect Brand of the Realm Enchantment will increase all Frost damage inflicted by 25%, stacking up to 50%, allowing you to deal even more damage once the Permafrost gauge has solidified.

Its worth noting that, unlike most other gear, none of the Enchantments in the game can be upgraded, and all their stats and effects are fixed.

Mastering use of the Permafrost mechanic is a key element for survival on higher difficulties.

BLADES OF CHAOS AND IMMOLATION EXPLAINED

The Blades of Chaos are acquired half way through the story and have a combination of close range and mid-range attacks ideal for impacting multiple enemies over a wide arc, with many of its skills inflicting Burn damage.

An important Skill to understand in relation to maximizing the effectiveness of your Blades of Chaos attacks is ‘Immolation’ which is a tier 1 skill as shown here. Immolation is a similar Skill to Permafrost for the Leviathan Axe.

Once unlocked and purchased, Immolation will build every time you hit an enemy with your Blades and is represented by the same gauge for Permafrost at the bottom left of the UI which slowly fills with each successful strike.

All the Immolation gained will be lost and the gauge will empty If you are hit by an enemy without blocking or stop attacking for a few seconds.

When the gauge fills to the top and solidifies in color, the Blades of Chaos will deal additional Burn damage with every hit, just like the Axe this is known as gaining Momentum.

Gaining momentum with the Blades of Chaos will not only increase damage and Kratos’ Impact but will also inflict the Burn status, setting an enemy ablaze inflicting damage over time.

The Status Effect will also periodically burst, causing a reaction on the enemy that interrupts its attacks. Bear in mind that all Draugr are resistant to Burn damage but are susceptible to Frost.

To gain momentum much quicker and increase the amount of Immolation gained with each successful strike, you will want to purchase the ‘Furious Immolation’ tier 2 skill as shown here.

Just like Permafrost the amount of Immolation gained is also directly related to how much damage you do so bigger attacks will fill the gauge quicker.

Once again you can equip Enchantments to further accelerate Immolation gain, as well as boost Burn damage once momentum is reached.

WEAPON UPGRADES AND SKILL TIERS EXPLAINED

In total there are five skill tiers to unlock for the Leviathan Axe, and four skill tiers to unlock for the Blades of Chaos

These tiers are unlocked by upgrading the weapons and each tier will unlock anywhere from 3 to 6 skills depending on the tier.

Upgrading the Leviathan Axe is achieved by using a unique resource called a Frozen Flame.

As you can see by this table, the first four Frozen Flames are given to you as you progress through the main story, but the final fifth Frozen Flame is acquired by gaining entry to the locked realm of Niflheim, where a unique resource called the ‘Chilling Mists of Niflheim’ resides inside a locked chest in the Central Chamber.

This special resource is then used to purchase the final Frozen Flame from a Huldra Shop. For a comprehensive guide on this realm check out my indepth Niflheim guide linked in the description.

Upgrading the Blades of Chaos is achieved using a unique resource called a Chaos Flame.

The first three Chaos Flames are given to you as you progress through the main story but the final fourth Chaos Flame is acquired by gaining entry to the locked realm of Muspelheim.

You then need to conquer 10 combat trials and defeat Valkyrie Gondul at the top of the mountain to acquire a unique resource called the ‘Raging Inferno of Muspelheim’.

This special resource is then used to purchase the final Chaos Flame from a Huldra Shop.

For a complete guide on this realm and how to access it, check out the Muspelheim section later in this video.

Its worth noting that you first have to finish the main story before you can purchase the final Flames to complete the final upgrades for both weapons.

Once you have unlocked additional skill tiers by upgrading the Weapons with Flames, the newly available Skills can then be purchased using your Experience Points, and your pool of available points to spend is displayed at the top right of the screen here.

Experience Points are used to purchase Skills for the Leviathan Axe, Guardian Shield, Blades of Chaos, and Atreus’ Talon Bow, they are also used to upgrade Runic Attacks.

Finally, Experience Points are also used to upgrade Atreus’ Runic Summons, which are slotted here.

Since no other resource is required besides experience points to complete any of these upgrades, you can quickly perform them anywhere in the game by simply bringing up the menu.

You earn Experience Points by killing enemies, completing Journey Objectives, completing Favors, completing Labors, Finding Artifact Sets, and discovering Lore.

The Guardian Shield does not need to be upgraded to unlock its Skills, nor can it be upgraded, therefore its Skills just need to be purchased using Experience Points when you have enough, you should unlock and master the three Countering Skills on the left as soon as possible.

As you can see from table below, Atreus’ Talon Bow can be upgraded five times to Level 6, and each upgrade becomes available at a Huldra Shop at set points during the story, with the final fifth upgrade becoming available around half way through the Journey.

Each upgrade is a pre-requisite to the next, and will require an increasing amount of Hacksilver and varying amounts of Steel Resources to unlock.

Each upgrade will increase Arrow damage and unlock a new tier of Skills, with the final upgrade enabling Runic Summons to fully recharge Atreus’ Quiver with Arrows upon every summon.

The Quiver can also be upgraded to level 3 reducing Arrow recharge times and increasing Arrow capacity to a maximum of 4.

Make sure to upgrade Atreus’ gear and Skills as often as possible as you will soon come to realize a fully upgraded Atreus is an indispensable asset in combat assistance.

WEAPON SKILL ADDITIONAL BONUSES EXPLAINED

It’s a good idea to understand how Additional Skill Stat Bonuses work early in the game. This way you can plan out which stats you want to maximize to bring into play certain Stat Bonuses to compliment your play style.

All Skill Stat Bonuses are passive and do not need to be activated to take effect. Only certain Skills possess Additional Bonuses, and if they do, this will be detailed under the ‘Additional Bonuses’ heading displayed here at the bottom of each Skill description.

As you can see for the Leviathan Axe, the ‘Freezing Throw’ Skill has no additional Stat Bonuses, but moving down to ‘Freezing Burst’ you can see it has a Stat Bonus that will shorten the charge time of the Skill, but only if your Cooldown Stat is at least 100.

For the Blades of Chaos, the ‘Spear of Chaos’ Skill has no additional Stat Bonuses, but moving down to ‘Elemental Surge’ you can see it has a Stat Bonus that will add Firebombs to every attack, but only if your Runic Stat is at least 250.

If you have satisfied the Additional Stat Bonus requirement of a particular Skill it will be highlighted in blue as shown here, indicating the Stat Bonus is active.

The Plume of Chaos Skill for the Blades of Chaos is the only weapon Skill that has two Stat Bonuses, all other Skills that have Bonuses, will only have one. Its worth noting that the Talon Bow and Rage Combat Skill trees do not possess any Skills with Additional Stat Bonuses.

This table displays the highest requirement from a stat that a Skill will require for its Additional Bonus to be activated, as well as recommended gear to equip to reach that stat.

As you can see there are only a limited number of Skills that require the highest requirement from each stat, with Runic offering the most Skills that will unlock their Additional Bonuses when reaching the highest requirement threshold of 250.

When selecting and equipping Armor, Enchantments, Pommels and Talismans to meet Stat Requirements, it’s a good idea to use the sort options at the bottom of the screen by pressing L2 and R2 to prioritize your favored Stats, as shown here:

RUNIC ATTACKS EXPLAINED

Runic Attacks are the most powerful abilities in Kratos’ arsenal, and are only available for the Leviathan Axe and Blades of Chaos, their power is directly determined by your Runic Stat.

Kratos can equip both a Light and Heavy Runic attack on each weapon. Light attacks are equipped in the top slot, and heavy attacks are equipped in the lower slot. Hold L1 + R1 to perform the light Runic Attack, and L1 + R2 for the heavy attack, as shown below:

All Runic Attacks require a varying cooldown time before they can be used again, from 24 seconds to 120 seconds depending on the Attack.

Increase Kratos’ Runic Stat to improve the effectiveness of all Runic Attacks, and increase the Cooldown Stat, to reduce the cooldown timer of all Attacks, allowing you to use them, more often.

All Leviathan Axe Runic Attacks will possess a Frost Elemental damage rating from 0 to 5, with 5 being the most effective, and all Blades of Chaos Runic Attacks will possess a Burn Elemental damage rating also rated from 0 to 5.

Damage and Stun ratings are common across all Runic Attacks for both weapons and are also rated from 0 to 5.

All these stats can be improved by upgrading them using your Experience Points, and every Runic Attack available in the game can be upgraded twice to a maximum of Level 3.

Max levelling Runic Attacks to Level 3 can cost a significant amount of Experience points, so it’s a good idea to save points for upgrading your most favored Attacks, as early as possible.

As the Leviathan Axe specializes in Frost damage, a good tactic is to choose Runic Attacks that capitalize on this strength, and max out the Frost Attack rating at Level 5 once fully upgraded, such as Wrath of the Frost Ancient Light Runic Attack and Ivaldi’s Anvil Heavy Runic Attack.

A similar tactic can be applied for The Blades of Chaos which specialize in Burn damage selecting Runic Attacks that max level the Burn Rating, such as Nemean Crush Light Runic Attack and Prometheus Flame Heavy Runic Attack.

Frozen Shards and Fiery Shards are special Enchantments that enhance specific Runic Attacks and can only be purchased from a Huldra Shop.

As you can see here there are five Frozen Shards and five Fiery Shards available that enhance 10 Runic Attacks in total, five for the Leviathan Axe, and five for the Blades of Chaos.

They all require 12 Smouldering Ember to purchase, which can only be acquired by completing Combat Trials in the realm of Muspelheim.

The five Runic Attack Enchantments I prefer using are as follows:

  • Borr’s Frozen Shard which guarantees a Blessing of Runic every time you use the Hel’s Touch Light Runic Attack for the Leviathan Axe, this Light Attack is found in a Legendary Chest at River Pass early in the story, and can’t be missed.
  • Buri’s Frozen Shard which greatly increases the duration of the Wrath of the Frost Ancient Light Runic Attack for the Leviathan Axe, this Light Attack can be found in a Legendary Chest in Fafnir’s Storeroom, which is a Favor given to you by Sindri.
  • Hroor’s Frozen Shard which increases damage of the Breath of Thamur Heavy Runic Attack for the Leviathan Axe, this Heavy Attack can only be purchased from a Shop and requires several Epic resources only available from Muspelheim.
  • Logi’s Fiery Shard which increases damage of the Nemean Crush Light Runic Attack for the Blades of Chaos, this Light Attack can be found by defeating the Death Eater Stone Troll at the Helheim Tower beach, but he only awakens after defeating the two Grendel Trolls at the end of Chapter 11: The Black Rune.
  • Aurvandil’s Fiery Shard which increases the duration of the Gift of Apollo Heavy Runic Attack for the Blades of Chaos, this Heavy Attack is found inside Realm Tear Rift 1 inside the Central Chamber of Niflheim and requires 10,000 Mist Echoes to open.

When you purchase an Enchantment Shard for a Runic Attack it will be created along with two randomly generated Stats, bear in mind this is random so if you don’t like the Stats generated there’s no need to waste your hard earned Smouldering Embers, simply re-load your game and re-purchase, rinse and repeat until you find a combination you like.

Runic Attacks are acquired in a few different ways in the game as follows:

Several Attacks can be found in various Legendary Chests and dropped by Bosses throughout the Journey, as well as during and completing certain Favors.

The powerful ‘Gift of Apollo’ can only be acquired by unlocking and closing the first Realm Tear Rift in Niflheim for 10,000 Mist Echoes, this Heavy Runic Attack for the Blades of Chaos possesses health on hit and boosts Strength and attack speed once upgraded.

A further two Heavy Attacks can only be purchased at a Shop, which are ‘Breath of Thamur’ for the Leviathan Axe and ‘Meteoric Slam’ for the Blades of Chaos, both of these Heavy Runic Attacks require several Epic resources to purchase, which are only attainable from the locked realm of Muspelheim so will take some end-game farming to acquire.

It’s worth noting that Runic Attacks and Summons hidden inside Legendary Chests throughout the Journey, become available to purchase in the Shops later on if they were missed.

However these will not require Epic Resources to purchase, only Hacksilver and Aegir’s Gold. Aegir’s Gold can only be found as randomly generated pickups glittering in the water around the Lake of Nine.

As you can see I missed ‘Rage of the Titans’ Light Runic Attack first time round which can be found in a Legendary Chest in Buri’s Store Room, but I can now purchase it from the shop for 75,000 Hacksilver, and 40 Aegir’s Gold.

RUNIC SUMMONS EXPLAINED

Runic Summons can only be performed by Atreus and are activated by holding down the Square button. The equipped Summon and cooldown gauge is displayed here to the bottom right of the UI.

Runic Summons can be unleashed with Light Arrows or Shock Arrows selected, with Light Arrows selected, Summons will weaken enemies and build their Stun gauge, while summoning with Shock Arrows will deal the Shock Status Effect.

Just like Runic Attacks Runic Summons also have a cooldown but ranging from 60 to 180 seconds, depending on the Summon. Improving Kratos’ Runic Stat will increase the effectiveness of the Summons, and improving the Cooldown Stat will reduce their cooldown timer.

Runic Summons can be found inside Chests and dropped by Bosses throughout the realms of Midguard and Alfheim. There are six Runic Summons in total that can all be upgraded twice to a maximum level of three, providing improved attributes and effects.

All six Runic Summons available in the game are as follows:

  • Boar Stampede
  • Storm of the Elks
  • Falcon’s Dive
  • Murder of Crows
  • Bitter Squirrel
  • Wrath of the Wolf

One of the better Runic Summons is the Storm of Elks which regularly discharges energy staggering nearby enemies providing a good degree of crowd control. It can be upgraded to last 12 seconds and have an area of effect of 10 meters.

To top it off, as the Summon finishes, it detonates knocking nearby weaker enemies into the air.

The deer is summoned at Atreus’ position, and then walks slowly towards Kratos where it finally detonates, so make sure to position your targets between Atreus and Kratos before summoning, for the greatest effect.

Staying in close proximity to the deer will allow Kratos to pummel enemies while they’re being zapped by its energy.

Five of the summons will deal physical Damage, Runic damage and / or Stun damage over a given area of effect, while one Summon, called the Bitter Squirrel, is purely a Support Summon and possesses no combat abilities.

Summoning the Squirrel using Light Arrows will reveal Healthstones and summoning using Shock Arrows will reveal Ragestones. Bear in mind the Stones will disappear after around 20 seconds so you cant save them.

Some of the comments the squirrel comes out with will literally make you laugh out loud so its worth summoning him just to hear those.

POWER LEVEL EXPLAINED

Kratos’ Power Level is the single greatest factor in determining his general effectiveness in combat against enemies, therefore it is of vital importance to increase Kratos’ Power Level as frequently as possible by replacing and/or upgrading all of his gear.

The highest achievable level is Power Level 9 but this takes fairly specific gear to achieve, with level 8 being a more common level most players will achieve for end game.

This large number at the top right of the Weapons and Armor screens displays the current Power Level of Kratos, and is the sum value of all equipped items, weighted differently by slot and tier.

The biggest contributing factors that affect Power Level end up being the three pieces of Armor (Chest, Waist and Wrist) as well as Enchantments as you can end up equipping a total of twelve.

The equipped Weapons, Pommels and Talismans all have less weighting but still play an important contribution.

Enemies that are 3 levels above Kratos will have a purple health bar instead of the usual green, yellow or orange, and will be considerably more difficult to fight possessing much higher resistances to all Kratos’ attacks, minimizing his Impact.

Enemies that are greater than 3 levels above Kratos will have a skull icon displayed next to their purple health bar and are best avoided until Kratos is better equipped.

ARMOR EXPLAINED

There are two types of Armor in the game, Standard Armor, and Special Armor.

Standard Armor will offer a boost to Stats and number of Enchantment Sockets, while Special Armor, will offer a powerful Buff in addition to the usual Stat and Socket improvements.

As you can see here, Mythic Pauldrons of Protection is a standard armor as it has no additional buff, just giving the usual boost to stats and sockets.

However Sindri’s Royal Dwarven Breastplate shown here, possesses a buff named ‘Arcane Protective Barrier’, this is what classifies it as a Special Armor. Special Armor will also offer better Stat and Socket improvements all round.

Standard Armor come in three rarities across six Tiers, Tiers 1 and 2 are classified as Common Green, Tiers 3 and 4 are classified as Rare Blue, and finally the top Tiers 5 and 6 are classified as Legendary Purple.

Each tier becomes available to craft in the Shops or loot from Coffins at varying intervals throughout the first half of the Journey, with the best Legendary tiers 5 and 6 becoming available after completing Chapter 9: The Sickness, which is about half way through the story.

There are a total of six sets of Tier 5 and 6 Legendary Standard Armors in the game as shown below, and they all max out at Level 5+ offering 3 Sockets for the Chest and 2 Sockets for the Wrist and Waist.

The best Armor sets in the game are classified as Special Armor, which unlike Standard Armor, offer a powerful Buff, such as constant Health regeneration or damage and defensive bonuses.

Special Armor sets become available mid-late story and come in three rarities, Rare Blue, Legendary Purple and Epic Gold.

Rare and Legendary Special Armor is acquired by completing specific late game Favors, and max out from Levels 5 to 7 depending on the set, with the majority of sets offering 3 Enchantment Sockets from all 3 pieces when upgraded, while Epic Gold Armor Sets all max out at Level 8 and offer 3 Enchantment Sockets for all three pieces when upgraded.

This table shows the seven sets of Golden Epic Armor available in the game all of which are considered the cream of the crop.

The Valkyrie Armor set is acquired by defeating three Valkyries, Hildr in Niflheim for the Chest, Gondul in Muspelheim for the Wrist, and Olrun in Alfheim for the Waist.

All seven golden sets require epic resources to craft and upgrade only attainable by farming the end game realms of Niflheim and Muspelheim, while the Valkyrie set requires additional Epic Asgardian Steel resources only attainable by defeating Valkyries.

Its worth noting, to fully upgrade the Valkyrie set, you will need to kill all nine Valkyries in the entire game including the Queen, to gather all their dropped resources to meet the upgrade requirements.

Check out this chart which shows all the crafting and upgrade resources required, for arguably the most powerful armor in the entire game, which is Ivaldi’s Mist Armor.

The chart onscreen is for the Chest piece for all three available sets. If you would like to see the full charts for both the Wrist and Waist pieces, make sure to check out my full Niflheim guide linked in the description.

Ivaldi’s Mist Armor sets all possess a special Perk called Regenerating Essence, which is a constant Health regeneration that’s always on, and it can be stacked, up to five times.

This means, after equipping three pieces of Ivaldi’s Mist Armor, you can equip a further two items with this Perk, to maximize its effect.

However, I have only ever found one other item in the entire game with the Regenerating Essence Perk, which is a Legendary Enchantment called the Heart of Svartalfheim.

This Enchantment is found in Wildwoods, directly behind Kratos’ home and is located inside a Hidden Chamber right here on the map.

You will need the Blades of Chaos to ignite some brambles obstructing a ladder, to access the area.

Inside this Hidden Chamber, you will find a Realm Tear Rift which you will need to close to acquire the Enchantment.

For a full indepth guide on how to acquire and fully upgrade this powerful Armor set, check out my full Niflheim guide linked in the description.

STATS EXPLAINED – TABLE SHOWING HIGHEST RUNIC AND LUCK STATS ON ARMOR

The six main Stats in the game that all directly affect Kratos’ effectiveness in battle, are Strength, Runic, Defence, Vitality, Luck and Cooldown.

Most of the Stats are pretty self-explanatory with clear descriptions displayed under each Stat when clicking down the L3 stick.

However, two of the stats are a little more obscure than the others, namely Runic and Luck, and further clarification on these Stats would be beneficial.

Runic is considered the most powerful Stat in the game, allowing Kratos to dish out the highest possible damage when appropriately high, the base damage dealt from all Runic Attacks and Runic Summons, as well as all Burn and Frost damage, is all affected by the Runic Stat.

As you can see on this table, there are five sets of Special Armor in the game that boost Runic across all three armor pieces as follows:

  • Tyr’s Lost Unity Set is a Rare Special Armor which will boost Runic by a total of 23 points when fully upgraded, each piece becomes available by completing the three Spirit Favors located around the Lake of Nine. The Hammer Fall Favor is available at Stone Falls after the first water drop which gives you the Wrist piece, Anatomy of Hope is available at Mason’s Channel after the second water drop and will give you the Waist piece, and finally Dead Freight is available at the Forgotten Caverns after the second water drop which gives you the Chest piece.

 

  • Sindri’s Royal Dwarven Set is a Legendary Special Armor which will boost Runic by a total of 92 points when fully upgraded, the full set becomes available for crafting at a Shop after completing Brok and Sindri’s late game Favor named Hail to the King. This Favor only becomes available after completing Deus Ex Malachite for Brok, and Family Business for Sindri. For a full chart detailing Favor progression throughout the entire Journey, check out the relevant section later in the video tagged in the description.

 

  • The Valkyrie Armor Set is an Epic Special Armor which will boost Runic by a total of 50 points when fully upgraded, the Chest piece is given to you by defeating Valkyrie Hildr who resides in a backroom of the Niflheim Workshop, the Wrist piece is given to you by defeating Valkyrie Gondul who resides at the top of Muspelheim after completing 10 combat trials, and finally the Waist piece is given to you by defeating Valkyrie Olrun who is found inside a Hidden Chamber in the Realm of Alfheim.

 

  • Ivaldi’s Deadly Mist Set is an Epic Special Armor which will boost Runic by a total of 85 points when fully upgraded, the full set becomes available for crafting once the first two Favors in the Realm of Niflheim are completed, named Ivaldi’s Workshop and Ivaldi’s Protection.

 

  • Finally we have Ivaldi’s Cursed Mist Set which is also an Epic Special Armor which will boost Runic by a whopping 130 points when fully upgraded making it the most powerful Armor for Runic focused builds. This set also becomes available for crafting once the first two Niflheim Favors are completed.

There is also a Legendary Tier 6 Standard Armor worth mentioning, which boosts Runic by a total of 82 points when fully upgraded, this is the World Serpent Armor set, and all three pieces are found in coffins in Tyr’s Hidden Chamber within the Hall of Tyr.

The Bracers are found in a coffin which you cant miss, but the Chest and Waist pieces are much trickier to find and involve solving a simple puzzle. After breaking the chains and flipping Tyr’s Temple, look back to notice a large model of a boat with a Light Crystal has descended from the ceiling.

Illuminate the Light Crystal with a Light Arrow, then use your axe to rotate the boat to align with the runes on the floor. This will open two gates as shown below, giving access to the hidden coffins for the Chest and Waist.

Luck is the rarest stat in the game, meaning it sees the least opportunities to increase. Luck will improve the chance to proc any bonus abilities from gear which possesses a perk activation chance, these include Enchantments, Pommels and some Special Armor sets, making them even more effective in battle.

The perk activation chance of these abilities will vary from very low to very high, with very high pretty much proccing every time. Since the Luck stat directly affects this chance rating, having a high Luck stat can greatly increase the effectiveness of Kratos in battle given the right perk activation bonuses.

As a general rule, to fully capitalize on this mechanic, you will want to reach a Luck stat of at least 100. This will then enable any equipped Perk activation bonuses of moderate chance or higher to proc every time.

A good example of this would be equipping the Brilliant Scale of the Chained Enchantment, which has a moderate Perk activation chance to grant a Blessing of Runic when using a Runic Attack. With a Luck stat of 100 or more, this bonus will proc every time.

For a more defensive player, equipping the Weightless Grips of Protection, which is a Rare Pommel for the Blades of Chaos, will offer a moderate Perk activation chance to grant Protective Barrier, which grants Kratos invincibility for a few seconds, on successfully landing Rising Fury.

Rising Fury is a Tier 1 Skill for the Blades of Chaos and is used to launch enemies into the air. Having invincibility proc every time Rising Fury lands will give Kratos a big upperhand.

Its worth noting that any low or very low Perk activation bonuses won’t proc often enough even with a Luck stat of around 100, so its best to stick using moderate chance or higher perk activation bonuses if you don’t want to increase Luck much over 100.

However, if you are willing to make the necessary sacrifices to ramp up your Luck closer to 200, then Low and Very Low Perk activation bonuses should proc much more often. Just so you know the Luck stat has a cap of 250.

Bear in mind these figures are approximations for your guidance only, and are not absolute. This is because God of War does not give accurate percentages for any of its Perk activations, as such, a certain degree of testing will need to be implemented on your behalf relative to your particular build and play style.

An interesting Level 6 Epic Enchantment called the Glowing Gem of the Nine only available from the Muspelheim Shop, possesses a very low Perk activation chance to cause a Realm Shift on any successful hit.

As you can imagine proccing a Realm Shift with almost every hit, which basically slows down time, would be extremely powerful.

However this Enchantment will not be available to purchase after a certain point in the story. Basically you need to go to the Muspelheim Shop any time before you take Mimir’s Head back to Freya to revive him. After that point it will disappear for good.

As you can see to buy this Enchantment you will need several end-game resources only available by completing Muspelheim trials. For some strange reason it’s listed as a Legendary Enchantment, but once purchased, it becomes Epic.

I have no idea if this was intentional or a bug so this may well be fixed by the time you watch this. For a complete guide on Muspelheim and how to acquire all its resources, make sure to check out the Muspelheim section and Resources charts of this guide.

Talismans will either possess a passive, activated or fixed ability, and don’t offer any chance to proc bonuses so are unaffected by the Luck stat.

A higher Luck Stat will also boost overall Experience gained and increase the amount of Hacksilver looted from all sources which is great for higher difficulties, allowing you to upgrade Kratos earlier and more often throughout the Journey.

As you can see on the table there are only three sets of Armor in the entire game that boost the Luck Stat, and none of them are Epic sets, only Rare and Legendary Special Armors as follows:

  • Tyr’s Lost Unity Set is a Rare Special Armor which will boost Luck by a total of 29 points when fully upgraded, and as previously mentioned, each piece is acquired by completing the three Spirit Favors located around the Lake of Nine.
  • Both Brok and Sindri’s Royal Dwarven Sets are both Legendary Special Armors which will boost Luck by 26 points when fully upgraded, both Armor Sets will become available for crafting at a Shop by completing their joint late game Favor, named ‘Hail to the King’.

These are the only three Armor sets in the entire game that will increase the Luck Stat. Various Enchantments, Pommels, and Talismans found throughout the game will also increase the Luck Stat, so these are where you’ll find the biggest contribution.

Check out this table for a list of every piece of gear available in the game, besides armor, that will directly increase the Luck stat.

TALISMANS AND SHATTERED GAUNTLET OF AGES EXPLAINED

Kratos is able to equip one Talisman at a time which sits in the slot directly below the three pieces of Armor, as shown in the below screenshot:

All Talismans will increase Stats as well as provide a bonus. Some Talismans offer a passive bonus while others offer an activated bonus. Activated Talismans all require a Cooldown which is indicated by this gauge at the bottom left of the UI.

Talismans, just like Pommels, come in four rarities, Common green, Rare blue, Legendary purple and Epic gold.

There are a total of five Epic gold Talismans available in the game as shown by this table and as you can see they possess very powerful bonuses.

Talismans are acquired by purchasing from the Shops, looting Legendary Chests, completing Favors and drops from Bosses, one Epic Talisman is acquired by defeating Valkyrie Kara in the Witch’s Basement, and another is acquired by opening the third Realm Tear Rift in Niflheim for 15,000 Mist Echoes.

I have also included in the chart two noteworthy defensive Rare Blue Talismans that can both be acquired fairly early in the story and are well worth picking up as soon as possible, they are:

  • The Golden Talisman of Protection
  • The Amulet of Kvasir

The Golden Talisman of Protection can be found within the first few hours of the Journey. As soon as you can access Stone Falls on the Lake of Nine, go there, progress through the area, and you will find the Talisman in a Legendary Chest.

This Talisman lets you recover faster after being hit by Pressing L1, reducing Kratos’ reactions. Since L1 is the block button it feels completely natural to pull off and integrates well with the flow of combat. The Talisman also greatly increases your defense when holding L1 to block with your shield which is a nice bonus.

However the biggest benefit is that it increases the timing window on parries, letting you reflect attacks and counter without requiring tight precision timing.

The Amulet of Kvasir requires you to reach the realm of Alfheim, which is around a fifth of the way through story, not long after reaching the Lake of Nine for the first time.

Once you are in the Alfheim realm, beach at the Light Elf Sanctuary to the East of the lake and progress through the area. The Talisman is found in a Legendary Chest after aligning and destroying three moving tree tendrils, the tricky part is positioning Kratos so he can accomplish this with a single axe throw, as shown here.

The Amulet of Kvasir is also a defensively oriented Talisman, but it focuses on dodging rather than parrying. Successfully dodging an attack at the last second will create a temporary realm shift, slowing down time, giving Kratos the upperhand. For those of you who have played Bayonetta, this is very similar to Witch Time.

Both of these Talismans once upgraded, can serve you well for the rest of the game if you so wish.

There are only two Talismans in the game that offer 3 Enchantment sockets when upgraded, these are:

  • The Shattered Gauntlet of Ages
  • Aegir’s Protection

Both are Epic Gold Talismans that cap at levels 5 and 6 respectively, nerfed by Sony due to being overpowered at Level 8, however the additional 3 sockets they offer once upgraded are still well worth the sacrifice in levels, so don’t hesitate to seek them out and fully upgrade them.

The Shattered Gauntlet of Ages is particularly interesting as it’s a pretty obvious reference by Sony to Marvel’s 2018 smash hit movie: Avengers Infinity War, which centers around the villain Thanos and his pursuit of the six Infinity Stones, which he plans to insert into the Infinity Gauntlet, granting him god-like powers.

The Shattered Gauntlet of Ages Talisman in God of War is similar to the Infinity Gauntlet from the movie, and the six Infinity Stones are basically Enchantments in the game that you slot into the Talisman. However unlike the movie, you only need to acquire and slot three of the six available Enchantments for the Talisman to unleash its full power.

This chart shows the six Infinity Stone Enchantments referenced in the game and how to acquire them, as well as the Stat boosts and ability bonuses they offer:

  • Andvari’s Soul (Soul Stone) — complete Brok’s Deus Ex Malachite favor
  • Asgard’s Shard of Existence (Reality Stone) — defeat Valkyrie Rota in Helheim
  • Eye of the Outer Realm (Space Stone) — found in Hidden Chamber of Odin in Helheim (you only have one chance to get this)
  • Ivaldi’s Corrupted Mind (Mind Stone) — defeat Valkyrie Olrun in Alfheim
  • Muspelheim Eye of Power (Power Stone) — purchase at the Muspelheim shop
  • Njord’s Temporal Stone (Time Stone) — defeat Valkyrie Queen

The Shattered Gauntlet of Ages Talisman is acquired during a Favor given to you by Sindri called ‘Family Business’. Near the end of this Favor you will fight a Hel-Traveler at the Northri Stronghold who will drop the Talisman once defeated. For the ‘Family Business’ Favor to become available, you will first need to wait for the second water drop during the Journey, then complete a Favor called Fafnir’s Hoard.

Once the Talisman is acquired, you will first need to upgrade it twice to max level 5, this will unlock all three of its sockets enabling you to install three Enchantments.

This is achieved by collecting Legendary Resources called Dragons Tears, which can only be acquired by freeing the three trapped dragons around the Lake of Nine in Midguard.

Each imprisoned dragon has an associated Favor, The Imprisonment of Otr, The Flight of Fafnir, and The Fire of Reginn.

Otr can be found in Veithurgard to the East of the Lake of Nine, Fafnir can be found to the North of the lake by beaching just to the left of Alfheim Tower, and Reginn is found in Konunsgard Stronghold to the northwest of the lake.

Once all three dragons have been successfully freed you will need to track down one final Dragons Tear to complete the upgrade, this can be found at the Forgotten Caverns to the northwest of the lake. You will come across a dead dragon with its head pointing toward the floor where the Dragons Tear is hidden under a pile of rocks, similar to that of treasure map locations.

Its worth noting that the final Dragons Tear will only appear at the Forgotten Caverns once you have progressed far enough into the main story, at around the point where Kratos and Atreus make their way back to Thamurs Corpse. So if its not there, keep progressing in the story, and check back later.

Once you equip the fully upgraded Talisman with any three of the six aforementioned Enchantments, this will allow you to unleash a high powered energy attack by pressing L1+Circle, that homes in on enemies dealing high damage, as you can see below. You will also be invincible during the attack which is a welcome bonus.

 

POMMELS EXPLAINED

Kratos is able to equip two Pommels, one for the Leviathan Axe, and the second for the Blades of Chaos which both slot directly below the two Runic Attacks.

This chart shows all the best pommels available in the game including all seven Epic Pommels.

All Pommels give a boost in Stats as well as a Perk activation bonus that has a chance to proc, from Very Low to Very High, which is directly affected by your Luck stat.

Pommels, just like Talismans and Armor, come in four rarities, Common Green, Rare Blue, Legendary Purple and Epic Gold.

There are 5 Epic Gold Pommels available for the Leviathan Axe, and 2 Epic Gold Pommels available for the Blades of Chaos.

Mistbourne and Grips of the Valkyrie are arguably the best Epic Pommels in God of War for the Leviathan Axe and Blades of Chaos respectively, while The Forbidden Grip of Ages and Grips of the Cursed Flame are arguably the best Legendary Pommels available.

Pommels can be acquired by purchasing from the Shops, looting Legendary Chests, completing Favors, closing Realm Tear Rifts, defeating bosses and defeating Valkyries.

VALKYRIES AND HIDDEN CHAMBERS EXPLAINED

There are a total of nine Valkyries in the game all intended as optional end-game bosses to challenge in combat once you have completed the story and acquired some of the best gear available.

However the game does give the option for highly skilled players to challenge these optional bosses much sooner, if they so wish.

All Valkyries are female warriors and servants of Odin, set to choose half of the warriors killed in battle in the mortal realm to take to Valhalla.

All nine Valkyries in the game have been cursed by Odin, out of spite for Freya abandoning him. Freya was also the former Queen of the Valkyries who handed over the title to Sigrun, she was stripped of her Valkyrie Wings and Powers when she broke off her marriage to Odin for which she hopes to one day regain and take revenge.

Since Freya is the true Queen, she is considered the strongest of all Valkyries.

The curse forces the Valkyries to remain in a physical form which is unnatural for them eventually driving them insane, and the only way to free them is to kill their physical form.

The Valkyrie Queen Sigrun was forced to seal away the other Valkyries in Hidden Chambers to prevent their insanity from causing destruction.

The first eight Valkyries are automatically revealed on the map upon completing the main story, but can also be accessed by exploration before this point.

You will also need the Magic Chisel to unlock the six Hidden Chambers of Odin where six of the less challenging Valkyries are imprisoned, this Chisel is obtained around a third of the way through the Journey during story mission ‘The Magic Chisel’.

There are four Hidden Chambers in Midgard, one in Alfheim and another in Helheim.

The seventh Valkyrie Gondul is located at the top of the locked realm of Muspelheim, and only reveals herself after completing 10 combat trials. For more information on this realm, check out the Muspelheim section later in this video tagged in the description.

The eighth Valkyrie Hildr is located in the locked realm of Niflheim and she resides in a backroom deep inside the maze of Ivaldi’s Workshop. Don’t miss my full indepth video guide dedicated to Niflheim, here on the site or search on Youtube: ‘GamerGrade Niflheim Guide’.

The realms of Muspelheim and Niflheim are both initially locked, and require four special Ciphers to unlock at the realm travel table at Tyr’s Temple, and these Ciphers are found in special Cipher Chests during the Journey and can’t be missed.

The final ninth Valkyrie can only be accessed once you’ve defeated the other eight and taken their helmets to the Council of Valkyries, which is located to the north side of the Lake of Nine. This will then summon the toughest Valkyrie Queen, Sigrun. Good luck!

Its worth noting that all Valkyrie’s tend to be resistant to both elements, Frost and Burn, except Gondul in Muspelheim who has a weakness to Frost and Hildr in Niflheim who has a weakness to Fire.

All Valkyries, are weak to axe throws while flying, so interrupt their aerial attacks when possible. However, this weakness is not present on the hardest difficulty.

It is recommended to complete the main journey before fighting Valkyries, or at least upgrade Kratos to level 5 or 6, since Valkyries are considered the most powerful bosses in the entire game.

For details on how to acquire the Epic Valkyrie Armor set, check out the relevant Armor section of this guide, tagged in the description.

 

MUSPELHEIM EXPLAINED

The Muspelheim Realm, just like Niflheim, is initially locked and requires four Language Ciphers found inside special Cipher Chests to unlock at the realm travel table at Tyr’s Temple.

Its worth noting there are seven Muspelheim Cipher Chests in total and once four Ciphers have been collected, the remaining three Chests will provide a random Enchantment. Just in case you haven’t yet acquired four Muspelheim Ciphers, here’s four easy ones you can grab.

  • The first is found at Cliffs of the Raven to the east of the Lake right here on the map, simply follow the path past the large dead troll on the floor and brazier to the right, then smash the wooden boards blocking this hole in the wall, and command Atreus to enter the hole so he can kick down the chain to the left for you to climb up to the Cipher Chest.
  • The second is found at the Forgotten Caverns to the north west of the lake right here on the map. Run past the Nornir Chest on the left and brazier on the right, then climb the chain straight ahead to find the Cipher Chest. You may approach this area from a different beach point depending on the water drop.
  • The third is found at the start of the Foothills and cant be missed by simply following the story, to get there run through the large doors at the opposite end of Tyr’s Temple to the Realm Travel room. Run past the lore marker on the left and follow the corridor round, drop down off the ledge to find the third Cipher Chest near a Scorn Pole.
  • The fourth is found on the Mountain Summit near the tree where you first meet Mimir and cant be missed by simply following the story, just follow the steps down across from Mimir’s tree and the Cipher Chest is dead ahead.

Check out this table of new gear which becomes available at the Shop once you gain access to the Realm of Muspelheim, there are three new Epic Armor sets, an Epic Enchantment, a Legendary Talisman, a Legendary Pommel for the Axe, and a Legendary Pommel for the Blades.

When you arrive at Muspelheim for the first time you will be challenged to 10 combat trials with various objectives, before facing Valkyrie Gondul in battle.

Five of these trials are classed as Normal difficulty trials, and the remaining five are classed as Hard trials offering a slightly more challenging objective, such as defeating all enemies without taking damage. These initial 10 combat trials offer Experience Points, Hacksilver, and Smoldering Embers when completed.

You will then face Valkyrie Gondul in battle upon which defeating, as well as the usual Hacksilver and Smoldering Embers, she will also drop:

  • 12 Crest of Flame
  • 3 Greater Crest of Flame
  • 1 Crest of Surtr
  • Asgardian Steel
  • Perfect Asgardian Steel
  • Gauntlets of the Valkyrie Epic Wrist armor
  • Leviathan’s Eye Epic Enchantment
  • The Raging Inferno of Muspelheim Legendary resource (used to upgrade the Blades of Chaos)

Defeating Gondul also unlocks a new molten sword in the middle of the area, which gives you access to Impossible Trial VI: Gauntlet, which is the only trial in Muspelheim where you can farm the rarest resources the realm has to offer, which are:

  • Crest of Flame
  • Greater Crest of Flame
  • Crest of Surtr

All of these special resources are all used to upgrade some of the most powerful gear in the game.

Interacting with the new sword informs you that you will first need to acquire 3 keys, every time you wish to attempt the Impossible Trial VI: Gauntlet, these keys are acquired by returning to the first five Molten Swords where you completed the initial Normal and Hard Trials. Except this time each sword now offers new Impossible Trials 1-5, which are all repeatable allowing you to endlessly farm keys for Impossible Trial VI.

You can attempt them in any order, but you must complete three different Impossible Trials to get the three keys. Defeating a fourth Impossible Trial does not get you another key, not until the three collected ones have been used for completing Impossible Trial VI, only then will you be able to continue collecting keys.

There are three possible objectives for Impossible Trial VI, which are listed on this chart. Bronze, Silver, and Gold goals are listed at the sword. Achieve any one of these goals to unlock two Legendary Chests.

The Legendary Chest on the left holds Hacksilver and Smoldering Embers that increase in amount based on goal earned. The chest on the right holds increasing amounts of Crest of Flame, Greater Crest of Flame, and Crest of Surtr, as shown in the chart.

Once you have unlocked Trial VI with 3 keys, it remains unlocked until you earn a Bronze, Silver, or Gold reward. Therefore, you do not need to farm 3 more keys after a failed attempt.

NIFLHEIM EXPLAINED

The other locked realm which requires Language Ciphers to unlock, is the realm of Niflheim. Due to the complex nature of this realm I have created a dedicated video guide to explain all its secrets and everything it has to offer. Make sure to check out that indepth guide on this site or on Youtube, search: ‘Gamergrade Niflheim Guide’

FAVOR PROGRESSION CHART

Check out this chart which shows all the major Favors in the game, how to start them and any pre-requisites.

A few noteworthy ones are Deus Ex malachite which rewards you with Andvari’s Soul which is one of the six Infinity Stone Enchantments.

Hammer Fall, Anatomy of Hope, and Dead Freight, are the three Spirit Favors, which net you Tyr’s Lost Unity Rare Special Armor when completed.

The Imprisonment of Otr, The Flight of Fafnir, and The Fire of Reginn are the three trapped Dragon Favors, which all reward the unique Dragon Tear resource.

Completing Hail to the King will allow you to craft Brok & Sindri’s powerful Level 7 Royal Dwarven Legendary armor sets.

 

Amazon UK:

Standard Edition God of War Game Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2kTK2bq

Official God of War Guide Book Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2Jk2iFK

Official God of War Dual Shock Controller Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2xNGJvM

The Art of God of War Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2sHqGuP

 

Amazon USA:

Standard Edition God of War Game Amazon USA: https://amzn.to/2JqrslS

Official God of War Dual Shock Controller Amazon USA: https://amzn.to/2Ls0NWt

Official God of War Guide Book Amazon USA: https://amzn.to/2LsjwBi

God of War Limited Edition PS4 Pro 1TB Console: https://amzn.to/2Lumrt9

 

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